One of the standard tactics of pit bull apologists is to claim that there is no such thing. That there's nothing especially dangerous about them. It's just a label ignorant people use to describe a whole bunch of different dogs who can be trained to be violent or not, depending on the owner. That's when they're talking to critics. When they're talking amongst themselves it's an entirely different story.
Why Should Responsible Pit Bull Owners Have a Break Stick?
Because canines are pack animals, fights are possible in any multi-dog household, no matter what breed of dog you own. A responsible owner should take measures to prevent such fights, but he or she should also be prepared for the worst. The goal of any owner should be to break up a fight quickly and efficiently. The majority of breeds will snap erratically at their opponent, biting and releasing repeatedly. As terriers, pit bulls will usually bite and hold. Contrary to popular myth, this is not some kind of special pit bull behavior; it is merely terrier behavior. As its name suggests, a break stick is designed to break this determined terrier hold. This is the safest, easiest, and most effective way to stop a fight.
Do not attempt to use a break stick on other dog breeds.
Emphasis theirs. They know there's a difference, and it's an important one they feel the need to emphasize.
Attempting to use a break stick on other breeds could result in serious injury to the person using the stick. Since other breeds will unpredictably snap and bite instead of getting a grip, you are far more likely to be bitten. You also should not attempt to use a break stick with other terriers. While all terriers grab and hold, pit bulls are far less likely to redirect their bite on an intervening human than, say, a Jack Russell Terrier. For the same reason, you also need to be very careful when separating your pit bull from another breed. Your pit bull will probably not bite you, but you might get bitten by the other dog.
So pit bulls have distinct - and distinctly dangerous - tendencies not only from other breeds, but also from other terriers.
There are many ways of managing a multi-dog household. Your primary goal should be to prevent fights before they begin. Many, many pit bulls—even pit bulls from fighting backgrounds—get along just fine with other dogs. Nevertheless, the breed’s tendency for dog aggression is slightly higher than the average dog, so constant vigilance is vital.
Oh wait, what's that? "The breed's tendency" - and they've already established that it is a distinct and distinctive breed - "is slightly higher than the average dog..." This coming from friends of pit bulls. "...so constant vigilance is vital." Sounds like a dog I'd like to leave with my young child. Make sure to teach them how to use a break stick. Which, as a "responsible pit bull owner", you do have, right? And it's readily available where you can get to it in the middle of a dog fight, correct?
You know another way to prepare for the worst? Don't rescue a pit bull. Eliminate the issue entirely. Problem solved, problem staying solved. Hundreds of thousands of dogs will be euthanized. You're going to have to make a choice about which one(s) you can save. Why not do yourself a favor and pick one that doesn't necessitate having a special tool to pry them off other dogs? Or, heaven forbid, people.
You are not the Jesus Christ of the dog world, sent to save the worst sinners to prove your mercy and grace. You're a human with a desire for canine companionship, and you have every right to be as selective as you would be of a human roommate.